Pediatricians who are looking for positive change — both professionally and personally — would be wise to consider locum tenens. Locum tenens jobs for pediatricians are available nationwide, and this practice alternative lends itself perfectly to pediatrics. The advantages are significant and wide reaching. We list just a few below, and also hear from a pediatrician who began taking locum tenens jobs seven years ago, right out of residency.
Locum tenens offers a wide array of professional advantages for pediatricians, according to Dr. Simran Kalra, who began accepting locums opportunities in 2012. “I met my husband during my last year of residency and he lived in Peru. After residency, I wanted to go there and spend time with him, so I contacted Weatherby to see if I could make that work,” says Dr. Kalra. “The flexible schedule has been a life saver. And I have gained enormous clinical experience because as a locum tenens provider I can stay completely focused on patient care.”
Experience different practices settings
One major professional benefit of locum tenens medicine is the opportunity to step in at different practices and facilities. “I can spend a few weeks doing hospital work, such as delivering babies. Then I can go somewhere else and do well checks and see children grow. Locums lets me really do all that a pediatrician can do,” Dr. Kalra says. “I also have recurring positions, which I enjoy. There’s a clinic I work at for 10 days or so toward the end of each month. And I have made friends there, so it’s a great situation.”
Treat varied patient populations
Along with different practices settings comes diverse patient populations. “One month I could be at a high-end pediatrics practice where everyone has private insurance. The next month I could be at a Medicaid clinic, seeing those patients struggle to get the care they deserve. I have learned to acclimatize quickly and work with all types of people. And it is satisfying to help out in underserved areas where patients might otherwise have to go without the care they need,” says Dr. Kalra.
Learn new things
Successful locum tenens providers learn that being flexible and adaptable is essential. When you regularly face new EMR software, different office protocols and procedures, and an ever-changing cast of support staff, you quickly become adept at going with the flow. Dr. Kalra says, “Every place does things a little differently. Now I can sometimes bring ideas to other clinics and say, ‘I’ve seen this work well at another location.’ That’s definitely a benefit.”
The personal benefits associated with this practice alternative are life changing, according to Dr. Kalra. “I can make my own schedule, spend time with my family, and take long periods off. I never get stuck in a rut.”
Gain control of your own schedule
Locum tenens pediatricians regain control of their schedule. They get to decide when and for how long they want to work. “At Weatherby I usually get my assignments one to two months ahead of time,” Dr. Kalra says. “And I might say, for instance, ‘Leave two weeks open in September so I can go on a trip.’ Being able to travel spontaneously is a huge gift. If I had a permanent position, I’d have to be asking permission.”
Travel and see new places
Locum tenens work is an excellent way to see new towns and cities, and explore the country. If you are just starting out as a pediatrician, locum tenens can help you test out new locations and help you choose where to settle down. If you’re nearing the end of your career, you can take jobs at places you’re considering retiring to.
Maintain a healthy work/life balance
“Thanks to locum tenens I can balance my time with my family and my profession,” Dr. Kalra says. “And when I’m at work I can focus on my patients. I don’t have to worry about any administrative hassles. That is not the task of a locums provider.”
To learn more about working as a locums tenens pediatrician, give us a call at 954.343.3050 or view today’s job opportunities. You have nothing to lose — and everything to gain — by trying an assignment to see if you like it.